bookworks is a survey of contemporary artist book publishing that brings together six of the world’s leading exponents to Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) from 24 July until 21 September 2019.

The exhibition explores the thematic connections between books, art and publishing from the conceptual, technical and material form of artist books – their history, production, classification and distribution.

Featuring the work of artists, graphic designers, book makers and publishers, the exhibition will host workshops and forums, as well as an independent art library.

Curator, influential Australian designer and educator Warren Taylor, has brought together a group of leading practitioners including Adam Cruickshank (AUD), Will Holder (UK), Olaf Nicolai (GER), Roma Publications (NDL), Batia Suter (NDL) and Ella Sutherland (NZ). Details on each participant follows this release.

In addition, up to 800 artists books and publications from 100 national and international publishers will be exhibited in the ambitious Art Library.

Taylor notes: ‘The Art Library will capture contemporary art publishing at a particular moment. It will be an alternative space for research and design and explore systems of classification and collaborative filtering through the intersection of print and digital media’.

A focus of the exhibition will be a survey of Amsterdam-based Roma publications, founded in 1998 by graphic designer Roger Willems and artists Mark Manders and Marc Nagtzaam. Born out of a close collaboration between writer, designer and artist, every Roma publication has its own rule of appearance and distribution – from artist books, newspapers, catalogues, posters and prints.

bookworks will present over 300 Roma publications alongside a series of large format prints by Batia Suter mirroring a concurrent project exhibited on the Mauvoisin dam in the Swiss mountains.

Mexican artist Ulises Carrión coined the term ‘bookworks’ in his influential text The New Art of Making Books (1975) in which he championed the book as a ‘space-time sequence,’ rather than a mere object of literary text:  ‘A book can also exist as an autonomous and self-sufficient form, including perhaps a text that emphasises that form, a text that is an organic part of that form: here begins the new art of making books.’

bookworks is conceived and curated by renowned designer Warren Taylor who is a lecturer in Communication Design at Monash University and founder of The Narrows – a curatorial project interested in the convergence of art and design. Between 2006 and 2012 The Narrows presented exhibitions by distinguished graphic designers such as Ronald Clyne, Experimental Jetset, John Melin, Rogerio Duarte, Peter Brotzmann, Les Mason and Karel Martens.

Taylor has designed publications for artists such as Jon Campbell, Matt Hinkley, Bianca Hester, Nicholas Mangan and Elizabeth Newman as well as initiating a series of print workshops as a platform for artists and designers to connect through the medium of print. He was a keynote speaker at the international conference Graphic Design, Exhibiting, Curating at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy and is part of the editorial collective Re:collection, which edits and publishes an archive of Australian graphic design.

A new publication will accompany bookworks, consisting of a guide book and full-colour documentation supplement. Designed and edited by Warren Taylor, it is co-published by Monash University Museum of Art and Perimeter Editions, and features an essay by Warren Taylor, text by Adam Cruickshank, conversation with James Langdon and contributions from exhibition participants.

Warren Taylor and all participants are available for interview.

bookworks opens Wednesday 24 July until Saturday 21 September 2019 at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) Ground Floor, Building F, Monash University, Caulfield Campus, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East.  Entry Free.  Tuesday-Friday, 10am – 5pm; Saturday 12-5pm monash.edu/muma/